Yale F&ES to Become the Yale School of the Environment

Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles and events posted prior to July 1, 2020 refer to the School's name at that time.

Kroon Hall
Effective July 1, 2020, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies will change its name to the Yale School of the Environment, a change that better reflects its established role as a leader in environmental scholarship, practice, and solutions. The change was approved by Yale President Peter Salovey and the Yale Corporation, the university’s board of trustees, on February 8.
“For more than a century, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has been at the forefront of environmental and forest science and scholarship, and the new name reflects the school’s fully integrated, deep commitment to achieving sustainability and finding workable solutions to today’s global environmental challenges,” Salovey said.
To honor this legacy and recognize the foundational importance of the School’s forestry program, President Salovey and the Yale Corporation also voted to establish “The Forest School at the Yale School of the Environment.” The Forest School will be an integral part of the School of the Environment with dedicated faculty, curricula for the Master of Forestry and Master of Forest Science degrees, field programs and forest properties, as well as a clear identity within the School of the Environment.

In a separate but related announcement, Yale said it would change the name of its Department of Geology & Geophysics to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, also effective July 1.
As the Yale School of the Environment, we will be accurately communicating the breadth and depth of our scholarship, research, impact, and mission.
— Indy Burke, Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean
Dean Indy Burke requested that the name Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies be changed to Yale School of the Environment after a School-wide strategic planning process and in consultation with faculty, the Alumni Association Board, and other supporters. An external review committee of internationally renowned scholars and practitioners recommended that the School adopt a name that better represents the breadth of its mission and impact, and that reflects the deeply technical and applied nature of its work.
“At a time of global crisis for the planet, our faculty, students, and alumni are working with colleagues throughout Yale on a wide scope of urgent and important issues — issues that include climate change, clean energy policy, urban science, green chemistry, forestry, and environmental justice, among many others,” Burke said. “As the Yale School of the Environment, we will be accurately communicating the breadth and depth of our scholarship, research, impact, and mission.”
The School was established in 1900 as “The Yale Forest School” with a founding gift from the family of Gifford Pinchot. A Yale graduate, B.A. 1889, LL.D. 1925, Pinchot was a pioneer in the conservation movement and the first head of the United States Forest Service. Through his vision and the work of the Forest School, Yale led the way in creating a new model of forest management and natural resource conservation, educating many of the nation’s first foresters — a vanguard of professionals who shaped our modern understanding of conservation, environmental education, and public lands.

What does it mean?

Visit our FAQ page to learn what the name change means for the School, its mission, students, and alumni.
In 1921, Pinchot agreed to change the name to “Yale School of Forestry” and, in 1972, the name was modified to the “Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies” to reflect its focus on the long-term management of all ecosystems for sustainability and human benefit.
During the past two decades the School has strengthened its connections with scholars across the university, including through joint-degree programs with five professional schools — Yale Law School, Yale School of Management, Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Architecture, and Yale Divinity School — and joint master’s degrees with the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Yale College. In addition, the School collaborates with an ever-growing number of scholars and entities across campus who are working on issues related to the environment, including through the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (with partners from the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, the Department of Geology & Geophysics, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and the Department of Anthropology); the Yale School of Nursing; the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (Yale Law School); and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (Yale School of Management), among many others.

“Since its founding, the school has contributed immeasurably to creating knowledge that informs policy and practice, and has prepared students to work across sectors to solve major challenges,” Salovey said. “The school also has demonstrated the willingness and strength to adapt as those challenges have evolved over time. We are excited to begin this next chapter in the school’s rich history.”